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Celebrating our employees

We make a point of recognizing and celebrating one another’s successes—those who go above and beyond, and who make especially big strides for our community. We do this through peer-recognition awards, such as the M-B Family Spirit Awards, and other internal initiatives.

M-B Family Spirit Awards: Building a Better United Way Award

The M-B Family Spirit Awards is an employee-recognition program made possible by the generosity of Bhayana Family Foundation. Each year, the awards recognize staff members who demonstrate merit in three categories: Living our Values, Demonstrating Excellence, and Embracing Leadership. The Building a Better United Way Award is the top honour, recognizing an employee or team that best exemplifies all three categories.

Here are recipients of the 2016 awards:


Ellen Sooley

Ellen Soley

Ellen was instrumental in United Way’s data conversion plan using her expertise to effectively move the project forward. She demonstrated excellence through her willingness to share her knowledge with colleagues throughout United Way Toronto & York Region’s merger. Ellen was always positive and her “can do” attitude meant she always came through with a solution, even during the most challenging times.

The People Manager Program: Diana Lo and Amanda Stephens

Diana Lo and Amanda Stephens

Diana and Amanda took the lead in creating the People Manager Program. They recognized an organizational need to build the capacity of People Managers and demonstrated leadership by initiating, designing and implementing the unique year-long, blended learning program. They consulted extensively across the organization to ensure that they were contributing to the organization’s collective success. The final design adopts big picture and long-term thinking to not only build up the skills of People Managers, but also contribute to our workplace community and organizational culture.

The Grants Online Implementation Team: Debbie Smith, Philip Mansfield, Rhomil Baylon, Rhonda Leeson, Grace Tay, and Caralyn Cipin.

Not shown: Ryan Doyle, Chris Walsh, and Kathryn Minns.

The Grants Online Implementation Team: Debbie Smith, Philip Mansfield, Rhomil Baylon, Rhonda Leeson, Grace Tay, and Caralyn Cipin. Not shown: Ryan Doyle, Chris Walsh, and Kathryn Minns.

The Grants Online Implementation Team designed and delivered a new Grants Online (GO) application system to align with the new Community Services Sector Strategy Anchor Funding process. The team demonstrated leadership by remaining focused and agile in spite of various modifications along the way. This has resulted in a versatile system that meets the needs of both agencies and United Way.